Chapter 399: Alright, this is the beginning (1)

Teaser

  • …Overwhelming?

Bud asked back as he continued to stare at the flying monsters running away with urgency. He heard Cale’s response at that moment.

“Yes. Our side is the best when it comes to magic. There’s no need to think much about it.”

Bud could see Eruhaben, Lord Sheritt, and Raon through the screen. He also thought about Rosalyn who was currently in the Roan Kingdom and his friend, Glenn Poeff.

He then thought about the four Alchemists’ Towers and the mage on the White Star’s side.
The Alchemists’ Towers were actually black magic organizations and the White Star was putting together the Empire's black magic and regular magic forces to start this fight.

Even though that was the case…

‘…It would be weird if we were pushed back.’

Magic.
Looking just at that one aspect…

  • It would be weird if we were pushed back.

However…

  • Wouldn’t the White Star know that as well?

The White Star should know this fact as well, which was why there was a good chance that they had prepared something else to take over the Empire.

“For now.”

Cale started to speak.

“The White Star should find it difficult to get involved in the Alchemists’ Towers’ business.”

  • …Difficult?
    “Ah, wrong choice of words. It’s not difficult, but he has something more important to do.”

Cale looked toward Choi Han.
Rosalyn was at the Roan Kingdom's capital waiting for Marquis Taylor Stan to finish the fake ancient text and preparing to trick the White Star up North.

Rosalyn was the one Cale trusted the most when it came to intellectual stuff.

“The White Star ran away while fighting against at the Castle of Light. It was completely different than when he ran away from the Mogoru Empire.”

The White Star had been relaxed when he ran away from the Mogoru Empire.
But that was not the case this time.

“The White Star would think that it is most important to find the balance within his body right now.”

  • …Isn't that why you were going to lay out the bait and scam him a month later?

Cale gave a short answer to Bud who seemed focused and not drinking for the first time in a while.

“We were planning on hitting the four Alchemists’ Towers in two weeks as well.”

Bud’s eyes clouded over.
The original plan for Cale’s side was to hit all four Alchemists’ Towers two weeks later.
But that plan had to change.

The enemy forced them to change it.

“There's no reason we need to play along with the White Star's plan.”

  • We could chill because we had a lot of time, but things have changed.

Cale smiled at Bud’s comment.
He was right.

Cale had planned things so that they didn’t have to rush. But Cale did not have much time anymore.
Why?

The time between Fall and Winter.
The time when the world feels like it has gotten a bit colder.
That was when Kim Rok Soo was born.

The God of Death had said that he would need to decide on that day.

‘Why does he get to pick the time as he pleases?’

He didn’t care that the God of Death was a god.
He didn't care what decision he would need to make.
Cale was not planning on accepting this situation he didn’t want at all.

He did not want a moment to decide.
Doesn’t that say everything?

Cale casually commented while looking at how the others were observing him.

“I'm just annoyed.”

He was annoyed.

‘Why the hell do I have to suffer so much because of that White Star bastard?
Am I the only one suffering?
No, all of us are suffering.
Why do we have to do that?
My goal is to be a slacker! I just want to be a rich slacker who can sit around doing nothing!'

Cale changed his fundamental thought process.

His original thought was that the White Star was strong, but he was an enemy they needed to defeat.
Now, it changed to a bastard he needed to quickly take care of to get his slacker life.

‘Yes, that is more Kim Rok Soo’s style.’

He felt as if he could hear team leader Lee Soo Hyuk and Choi Jung Soo's voices from somewhere.
It was at that moment.

“That’s right! The human said something I like for the first time in a long while! The White Star is annoying! Let’s destroy them all!”

He could hear Raon's voice. Cale started to smile while looking at the others who were nodding their heads at Raon.

“Absolutely. We need to destroy them all.”

  • …Ho.

Bud could only laugh.
He felt odd seeing Cale, whom he thought was debating how to defeat such a strong enemy, suddenly become so confident.
But it was a positive feeling.

Why?
Cale was not someone who would speak nonsense.

  • What do you need me to do?

Bud asked what he needed to do.
Cale immediately responded.

“When are the Alchemists’ Towers and the mages planning on striking the capital?”

  • The exact date was not in the Singten Merchant Guild Leader’s information. But it seems it will happen before our planned two weeks. He seemed to be in a rush when he left the message.
    “Go look into the exact date. You should be able to drag it out of the Singten Merchant Guild Leader. Or you can have someone on our side look into it as well.”

Cale stopped talking and shook his head.

‘No. I'll go find out.”

  • Then?
    “Bud, you contact Miss Rosalyn and Clopeh and tell them to hurry.
  • And then?

Cale looked around before responding to Bud’s question.
Ron, Beacrox, Choi Han, three Dragons, On and Hong.

“One at a time.”

What they needed to do from here was simple.

“We will cut them out one by one. We will cut out the White Star's subordinates one by one.”

The Alchemists’ Towers, the mage, Arm, the Bear tribe, etc. The White Star will end up alone if they start to take care of these groups one by one.

“I will head over tomorrow.”

  • Tomorrow? Not right away?

Cale looked toward On, Hong, and Raon. His gaze rested on Raon and Lord Sheritt the longest.

“Yes, I need to go tomorrow.”

Fighting and work were both important.
However, some things were more important.

“There are children waiting for me.”

  • Children? What do you me-
    “Anyway, see you tomorrow. I'm hanging up.”
  • What? If you hang up now?!
    “Is there anything else you need to tell me?”
  • No. There’s nothing I need to tell you right now, but still-
    “Call me back if anything urgent comes up.”

Cale looked back to Raon who ended the call.

  • Hey! You affectionless-!

Bud could not finish his sentence. It was because the call ended. Cale looked toward the children averaging nine-years-old who were looking at him with eyes full of anticipation.

“Let’s go home first.”

No matter how busy he was, he could not just leave without stopping at home after such a long time.
There were also children Cale needed to see.

“Cale-nim.”

He nodded his head at Choi Han and Beacrox who were approaching him.

The Super Rock Villa had been emptying since Cale's group left.
Cale’s gaze headed past the Forest of Darkness to the wall dividing the Forest of Darkness and Harris Village.


“Long time no see.”
“Young master-nim.”

Cale took only Choi Han and Beacrox with him to Harris Village while the others stayed in the Forest of Darkness and the first person, he saw was the Wolf Lock who had grown quite a bit to be called a young boy.

Lock had not been with Cale since the battle at the Gorge of Death.
It was the same for Maes and the other Wolf children as well.

“Looks like all of you grew quite a bit.”

The Blue Wolf children had all grown a lot while Cale had not seen them. That was how it was with children. The children who had grown much taller awkwardly but warmly welcomed Cale.
Cale asked Lock who looked much more mature to be called a child a question.

“It looks like you have been training hard?”

Somebody else answered that question for Lock.

“He wanted to get stronger.”

Cale turned his head.
He could see the white-haired Gashan who was wearing a baggy martial arts uniform. His eyes that were completely white as usual were looking at Cale.

Harris Village.
This was where the Tiger tribe and the Wolf children were staying.
Gashan peeked at Lock before continuing to speak to Cale.

“I think he was frustrated being here alone.”
“No, that’s not-!”

Lock who started to speak in shock could not finish talking after seeing Cale's gaze.

The Gorge of Death.
Lock had achieved a new berserk transformation different than normal at that time. Rather than his usual shabby grey color, silver fur with a hint of blue had surrounded Lock.

However, Lock had not had any time to be with Cale since then.
He was not complaining about that. But there was a sense of disappointment that On, Hong, and Raon seemed to be doing a lot while he did nothing.
He was happy being around Maes and his other siblings but there was this unknown sense of sadness and disappointment.

The Wolf King's diary that Cale gave him was still on Lock’s desk.
Lock read it over and over every chance he got.

However, it was difficult for Lock to share his thoughts and emotions after seeing Cale again. He was slightly worried that Cale would say he did not grow at all, but most importantly, he didn't know what to say once he saw Cale, Choi Han, and Beacrox.

It was at that moment.

“Children are not supposed to fight.”

Lock and Cale made eye contact.
Lock subconsciously blurted out at that moment.

“I am not a child.”

He wondered if he should not have said that.

“No, I guess I am still a bit young.”

An anxious Lock quickly added that qualifier. He could see Choi Han smiling behind Cale. Beacrox was already surrounded by Maes and the other children and was slowly handing out presents.

“That, you see.”

Pat.

Cale placed his hand on Lock’s shoulder as he mumbled.

“It's late, but…”

Lock who looked at that hand for a moment heard Cale’s voice and turned back toward Cale.

“Thanks for protecting Raon and me last time at the Gorge of Death.”
“Ah.”

Lock recalled how he had tried to protect Cale and Raon from the Dragon half-blood’s attack. He felt as if his heart was beating oddly.

Squeeze.

However, he could not think about anything else as Cale squeezed his shoulder hard.
Lock could see Cale looking around.

The Tiger shaman Gashan and the other important Tigers had arrived at some point. The other Tigers were watching from a distance.
Lock could see Cale looking around at them before starting to speak.

“We have confirmed that the Lion tribe, Bear tribe, and the Fog Cat Tribe are with Arm.”

Cale then nonchalantly added on.

“I don't need to say anything else, right?”

Lock could then see Gashan and the other Tiger warriors start to smile. Gashan started to speak.

“Then we just need to fight against those bastards.”

Squeeze.

Lock felt Cale squeeze his shoulder one more time and looked to see that Cale’s gaze had moved from the Tigers to him.
The two of them made eye contact.

“Yes. I need all of your help.”

Lock didn’t know why he was smiling and the rumbling in his heart became even stronger.
He heard Cale's stoic voice at that moment.

“The Tiger tribe had to leave their home in the Eastern continent because of Arm. It looks like Arm called the Fog Cat Tribe over to the Western continent.”

What was the most annoying existence in battle?
Or maybe the scariest existence?

Cale thought the answer was assassins.
They were annoying and scary existences who could appear at any moment to kill you.
That was why you needed to take care of the enemy assassins first.

‘Well, it's mainly because I promised On and Hong.’

He really wanted to take care of those trash bastards.
However, Cale was not planning on just doing as he pleased because it involved the lives of his friends. He would do it properly in a way that would benefit them.

“I plan on attacking the Cat tribe. They are stealthy and have no problem using cowardly methods. What do you think?”

Gashan who was quietly listening to Cale seemed extremely relaxed.
This was weird because he should have anger toward the Lion tribe, Bear tribe, Arm, and the Cat tribe after being chased out by them.
But he was relaxed.
There was a simple reason for it.

“We will wait until you call us, Cale-nim.”

They just needed to take it back.
The Tigers who had lived alone on their respective mountains were different than the Tigers who had gathered around Gashan and faced many battles and endless hours of training.

“Lock.”
“Yes, young master-nim.”
“What do you think?”

Lock could see Cale asking him the question but looking toward Maes and his other siblings with a gaze that seemed to be saying, ‘not them.’ That was why Lock could answer in a relaxed manner.

“Is the Fog Cat Tribe the one On and Hong ran away from? I think I heard about it from them before.”
“That’s right. It is them.”
“Then I need to help.”

Lock could see Cale finally taking his hand off of his shoulder.

Cale looked at the Tiger warriors, Lock, and Gashan who were fired up and pointed with his hand.
He was pointing at the tall stone wall.

It was the wall that divided Harris Village and the Forest of Darkness.

“Then let’s climb over the wall.”
“You want us to do it right now?”

Gashan looked confused. Cale smiled gently toward all of them.

In order for his side to not get hurt and fight with overwhelming strength…

“We have a new castle in the Forest of Darkness.”

They just needed to get overwhelmingly strong.
That was the safest method.

“There is a very wise individual there who can help with your training.”

Cale had already received permission before coming here.
Gashan cautiously asked.

“Who is it?”
“Raon's mother.”
“…Excuse me?”

Gashan asked with a blank expression but Cale just shrugged his shoulders. He then started to speak to Lock.

“What do you plan on taking on when we fight against the Cat tribe?”
“…Young master-nim.”
“There will be poison and hidden weapons attacking from all directions in the battle against the Cat tribe. There is a limit to parrying them with a sword or magic and even evading them.”

Lock started to get nervous. He was still weaker than the Tigers. For some reason, it was difficult for him to use a lot of strength when entering his berserk transformation as well.

‘You have a lot of potential, so keep it up.’

Gashan had consoled him but it was frustrating for Lock who had heard about Choi Han, Mary, Rosalyn, and Raon's achievements.
He heard a calm voice at that moment.

“What about shield arts?”

‘Shield arts?’

Lock became anxious at the sudden suggestion.

“I can give you the greatest shield arts master to help you if you want.”

Cale looked at Lock who was looking at him with wide eyes and thought about Lord Sheritt. Although they had moved the castle to the Western continent, Sheritt was still tied down to the castle. She wanted to do something to help and Cale was happy to receive her assistance.

That was why he offered Sheritt’s shield arts to Lock who still did not have a weapon of choice.
Cale would not put Lock in dangerous situations, but Lock still had Maes and the other children he needed to protect.

“Beacrox.”
“Yes, young master-nim.”

Beacrox who was surrounded by the other Wolf children immediately stood up straight and looked toward Cale.

“The destructive strength of greatswords is amazing.”
“But they are slow and leave a lot of openings.”

Cale commented and Beacrox admitted the issues.
It left a lot of openings. Lock subconsciously thought about a shield as soon as Beacrox said that. He would be able to protect the others who show any openings from enemy attacks if he had a shield.

He thought about that moment when he protected something in the past.

“Of course, if you don’t want to do that-”

Cale could not finish his sentence. It was because Lock started to shout.

“Not at all! I will definitely learn shield arts to use a shield like yours, young master-nim!”
“Huh?”

Cale flinched.
Lock was suddenly filled with desire. Cale had thought it would be great for Lock to learn shield arts, but…

“I want to become a shield like the greatest shield I’ve seen!”

‘No, there is no need for you to be like my shield?
It’s not even that great?’

Cale's expression continued to turn odd.

“…The person who is going to teach you probably has an even greater shield?”

‘Yes, yes indeed.’

Lord Sheritt could be called the best when it came to handling a shield.

“Your shield is the greatest in the world as well to me, young master-nim!”

‘But it’s not…’

Cale could not say that out loud to Lock who was saying that with such a pure expression on his face.
That was why he just brushed it aside.

“Sure. Let’s talk about it again after we destroy the Alchemists’ Towers.”
“Yes, sir! Please come back soon! I'll be waiting for you!”

‘…Sure. I guess it is good to be energetic.’

Cale decided it was a good thing and smiled back at Lock.

The next day.

“I can’t tell whether you want to live or die. Hmm?”

Cale was smiling as he looked at Singten Merchant Guild Leader Plavin Singten.

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